Ryanair’s new hand luggage policy breaks the law and is “abusive”, claims a Spanish consumer group.
FACUA-Consumidores en Acción (Consumers in Action), a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, has filed a complaint against the low-cost airline after it announced changes to its baggage rules from 1 November.
From being able to take two bags on for free, including one larger wheeled suitcase that will be put into the hold at the gate and one small bag, passengers will only have a luggage allowance of one small bag that fits under the seat in front unless they pay more.
The group filed a complaint with the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) and the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (Aecosan).
It said in a statement: “FACUA considers this an abusive practice and warns that it causes serious harm to consumers, violates their rights and violates the basic conditions of the air transport contract.”
The consumer group said Ryanair’s new policy violates Spanish Air Navigation Law, quoting article 97 of the “Ley de Navegación Aérea”, which states: “The transport provider will be obliged to transport free of charge in the cabin, such as hand luggage, the objects and packages that the traveller carries with them.
“The only exceptions to deny transportation are safety reasons, linked to the weight or size of the object, in relation to the characteristics of the aircraft.”
Ryanair has roundly denied the claims, calling them “clearly false”.
A spokesperson said: “No airline allows all passengers to bring all their bags on the aircraft. Up until four years ago, Ryanair only allowed one carry-on bag – now up to 50 per cent of customers will continue to bring two free carry-on bags from 1 November as they travel on Priority Boarding.
“Our new lower cost of €8 for a 10kg checked bag (compared to the current €25 for a 20kg checked bag) means that checked bag income will probably decline as we deliver more savings to Ryanair customers.”
The new rules mean that passengers who want to take more luggage must pay £6 for priority boarding in order to take a 10kg bag in the cabin with them, or £8 to check-in a 10kg bag. Only 95 people per flight, roughly half of the passengers, will be able to book priority boarding due to limited space in the cabin.
Customers travelling with Ryanair before 1 November will not be affected by the new rules; those who have already booked to fly after this date have the option to comply with the policy, pay extra for priority boarding or to check a bag, or claim a full refund.
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